ETSC Warns Of "Hype Surrounding Automated Driving"

In a recent article in the Financial Times, the ETSC was very clear in warning of the delays in improving the minimum safety standards of vehicles for almost a decade.

"The hype surrounding automated driving threatens to hold back progress over the next few years in reducing the 1.25m deaths that occur annually on the world’s roads.

By 2030, there may well be a few million self-driving cars globally, but there will also be more than 1bn cars driving that do not have such features. Many of those vehicles are the ones that will leave factories this year and next. The issue is that policymakers, as well as carmakers, are becoming so obsessed with the dream of an autonomous future that they are ignoring many of the causes of road collisions that could be avoided today through the use of existing, widely available and affordable technologies.

Autonomous Emergency Braking, Intelligent Speed Assistance and Lane Keeping Systems could be as effective for reducing road deaths as the seatbelt has been. But, like the seatbelt, we will only see the biggest safety gains when all cars are fitted. Offering them as optional extras, or only on premium models, as today, is not good enough.

But delaying or avoiding action now would be a disaster. Especially so if, as is likely, full autonomy faces huge practical obstacles to implementation along the way."

Source:  ETSC 26th Feb 2018

ESB Host First Cross-Industry Forum

Last week in Newbridge, Co Kildare, saw the hosting of the first Cross-Industry Forum on Road Safety in Ireland.  This successful half-day event is an inspired initiative by the ESB and is just one of a number of elements of the company's "Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020: Our Journey To Excellence".

Leading road safety champions and DriverFocus clients, ESB, ABB, Irish Rail, SSE and Ervia were joined by representatives from eir, An Post, KTL, KN Networks and other organisations to share their experience and best-practices in managing work-related road risk.  Well-planned and ably facilitated, there was fantastic, active participation from all, in the series of workshops, which covered a wide-range of driving-related topics including grey fleet, driver behaviour, telematics, audits, distraction, driver communications, driving for work policies and daily vehicle checks. 

DriverFocus and FTA Ireland were invited along to support the forum with stands featuring relevant information and resources.

At the close, strong interest expressed for the next event, with several offers to host - a definite sign that the Forum was heading in the right direction!

Further information: ESB Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020

Related: Kudos to ESB (LinkedIn Post)

DfBB: Essentials For Car and Van Fleets

Driving for Better Business has brought out an excellent and very practical guide to "Managing Your Work-Related Road Risk", covering the following Management Essentials:

  • What is Work-Related Road Risk?
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safe Driving Policy
  • Measuring Crashes and Costs

Here are our Seven favourite snippets from the guide, along with some links to related articles we've previously posted here:

# 1: It's always a good idea to start with "Why?".  "Reasons to manage work-related road-risk:

  • It puts your staff at risk
  • It puts other road users at risk
  • It costs your business a lot of money
  • It puts you, your business and your reputation at risk".

# 2: "To protect your business you need to:
Plan: Assess the risks in asking your staff to drive and create a plan to minimise those risks.
Do: Create a safe driving policy, communicate it well to your staff and ensure they follow it.
Check: Monitor compliance, collisions and costs.
Act: Continue to refine and improve your policies".
[see also our "Hallmarks" of best-practice].

#3: "Those not managing the risk effectively often fall into one of three distinct camps:

  1. Ignorance: Not knowing that “something” has to be done
  2. Avoidance: Knows that “something” needs to be done but doesn’t have time
  3. Box-Ticker: Doing “something” they hope will be enough for legal compliance but not leveraging any business benefits.

Remember, the "something” applies to everyone who drives on business, however often or infrequently and whether they are in a company vehicle, their own vehicle (the “Grey Fleet”), or a hire vehicle.

And if you’re the one who makes decisions about drivers and vehicles, you’re the one who needs to ensure that the “something” gets done".

# 4: "Running cars and vans can be an expensive business.
While poor driving can obviously put your drivers and other road users at risk, it can also cost your organisation huge amounts of money, but often in ways you didn’t realise, eating into your profits without you realising".

# 5: "The obvious costs such as insurance and repairs can be scary enough but did you know the hidden costs of a collision are generally between x4 and x32 the cost of repairing the vehicle?  Staff absence is the biggest hidden cost to business following a collision. Whether it’s a spurious ‘whiplash’ claim or something more serious, this lack of productivity can really harm the business".

# 6: The guide features "a series of 50 questions to see if your organisation is doing all it can to effective manage its work-related road risk and to help you identify where you may have important gaps" [see also, our Are You Ready? questions]. Additionally, "Not all the questions are about compliance, some are about good practice and going beyond the legal minimum to ensure drivers and road users are as safe as possible, and that the company is maximising the benefits that come from better management of those who drive for work".

Find out more at www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com under the menu Getting Started/Next Steps

# 7: To help you Measuring Your Collisions and Costs "we’ve created a spreadsheet template on which you can enter the most important data.

You can download the template and the example at www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com under Getting Started/Measurement".

Source: Driving for Better Business
 

NETS: Off-The-Job Crashes Are Major Employer Cost

The USA's Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is an employer-led public/private partnership dedicated to improving the safety and health of employees, their families, and members of the communities in which they live and work by preventing traffic crashes that occur both on- and off-the-job.

NETS has this week released a new Cost of Collisions Calculator, developed by NETS through a cooperative agreement with NHTSA, which can be utilised by employers* to measure their company’s cost of crashes.

Employers pay for injuries that occur both on and off the job. 

In the USA in 2013, motor vehicle crashes killed more than 1,600 people and injured 293,000 while they were working.  More than half of the injuries forced people to miss work. Overall, on-the-job crash injuries (fatal and non-fatal) amounted to about 7.5 percent of all crash injuries.

Motor vehicle crash injuries on and off the job cost employers $47.4 billion in 2013. Almost one half of this cost resulted from off-the-job injuries to workers and their dependents.

Knowing an occupational fleet’s costs enables management to develop a business case that supports an investment in fleet safety. Knowing the on- and off-the-job crash costs for all employees and their dependents provides employers with justification to invest in employee-wide safe driving programs.

Protecting employees from motor vehicle crash injury can be a profitable investment of
time and resources. Traffic safety programmes are an alternative to reduce health care
expenses to employers without reducing the benefits offered to employees. 

* Note: Aside from the Disclaimer on the NETS website, the Cost of crashes calculator and related report are clearly based on factors specific to the driving for work environment in the USA which may or may not apply in Ireland/UK.  It is advised that estimates provided by both the calculator and report are indicative, vary widely even by state and should be treated with a degree of caution

Source: NETS Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes To Employers
Cost of crashes calculator: (note: site is not secured by SSL)
NETS Membership information

Does My Organisation Need To Manage Road Risk

The ETSC (European Transport Safety Council) has just published an excellent, two-page infographic that helps business-owners, directors and managers find out:

  1. Whether their organisation needs to manage Road-Risk?
  2. If so, what are the key steps involved in starting a Programme 
  3. What are the attributes of a Safe Driver 
  4. Features of a Safe Organisation
  5. Some key aspects to consider

A PDF version of this ETSC infographic can be found here and you might also want to check out the ETSC's Benefits of Road-Risk Management and our Infographics relating to Road-Risk Preparedness and Hallmarks of Best-Practice Programmes

IOSH Work-Related Road Safety Webinar Live

With driving being one of the most hazardous work activities conducted by a huge percentage of employees, IOSH is hosting a webinar on Work-Related Road Safety, jointly presented by Professor Anne Drummond of UCD and Deirdre Sinnott McFeat of the HSA.

Following on from research which IOSH published last year on fatal road collisions in the Republic of Ireland, it examines the issue and provides advice for employers on how they can ensure their employees are safe on the roads, pointing to important resources which are available.

You can access the webinar here
You can also view more on IOSH’s research here

Why The Indo Article Misses The Point

In my view, last Sunday's article in the Irish Independent completely misses the point of the RSA #Drivingforwork TV ad. The fact is that employers and staff who drive at work actually have JOINT responsibility to show duty of care. 

The reason this ad campaign is happening now is because research shows many employers seem to be unaware of this joint responsibility i.e. they are not or are only in a limited way, managing driving for work.  

Perhaps understandably, they assume there is not much they can do to lower road-risk, aside from checking driver licences (maybe), servicing company-owned vehicles and buying motor insurance.

While it may be a "common sense" view that it is unfair to expect employers to "be there", the fact is that there are many ways an employer can positively influence driving behaviour and outcomes. Technology too is making this easier all the time and insurance companies already incentive proactive risk-management measures by businesses.

The article writer correctly points out that training (i.e. "blanket-training" everyone) can be costly and incidents still happen. This is to be expected.  Driving is a complex activity and training alone can only do so much.

Similarly, asking "how many of those accidents were down to carelessness on the part of the driver, or how many were down to the employer being at fault" suggests a very simplistic view of this risk. We know that some 90% of collisions (the term prerferred by the RSA) are due primarily due to driver error. It is not hard to see how joint fault can occur. For example, when a serious crash happens and the use of mobile device by the employee is deemed to be a contributory factor, it is entirely possible that this may have been actively or passively encouraged by the employer.  In fact, some employers have lost court cases due to not having an appropriate mobile phone policy in place.

So the purpose of this TV ad is to simply "nudge" employers to consider the human consequences of not managing driving and to find out how to make a positive change by visiting www.drivingforwork.ie. 

It is also worth remembering that driving is for many staff, the single biggest risk they face while at work. In fact, driving at work is more risky than driving privately, especially if the employer has a toxic, short-sighted culture. So doesn't it make sense to require all employers to take reasonably practicable steps to positively influence and mitigate this significant risk? After all why should driving be treated differently to other potentially life-changing at-work activities?

As long as an employer takes reasonable steps - preferably a series of steps which can include the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 guidance of "instruction, information, training and supervision" - then not only will the employer be compliant with this Act, they can also reasonably expect to avoid business disruption through less collisions, reduce fuel-use and save on motor insurance.

Granted it may not seem like "common sense", but employers who are proactive about managing road-risk, generally benefit much more than those who don't and the www.drivingforwork.ie website (among others) showcases some compelling testimonials.

Rather than "wrapping up employees in cotton wool" as the article also suggests, employers need to be aware of both the risks that employees face and create when driving for work and the positive business opportunities that exist to avoid the many negative consequences.

This RSA TV ad does help raise employer awareness and so should be welcomed. Instead, the article seems to challenge the ad on the basis of intuition and bias. A more open-minded, research-based article could have discovered that over-reliance on "common sense" leads to inertia, complacency and loss - the very things which the ad is seeking to avoid.

Author: Ron McNamara

Businesses Fear Staff Using Phones While Driving

More than two-thirds (68%) of UK businesses are concerned their employees are using smart phones access the internet or text while driving for work.

The study by TomTom Telematics also found that 33% of organisations still have not taken steps to prevent employees from using mobile phones while driving, whether through specific policies, training or education.

Beverley Wise, director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called mobile phone use a ‘serious and growing threat to road safety’ and these results further highlight the extent of the problem faced by businesses.

“It’s a problem employers’ must tackle, however, if they are to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of their staff.

“A clear policy on the use of mobile phones should form part of a best practice approach to road safety, but cultural change is also vital.

"Ingrained habits are hard to break but continuous training, education and communication can help to change employees’ mindsets and encourage a greater focus on safe driving.”

The research also revealed that 68% of organisations still allow hands-free use of mobile phones by employees driving for business purposes.

However, studies have shown that talking on a hands-free phone can be as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile.

Wise added: "Technology such as telematics can also play an important role in helping to identify when employees are driving distracted by continuously monitoring performance. Incidences of harsh steering or braking, for example, might be indicative of greater problems that require attention.”

Source: Fleet News

Arval Avoids Crashes and Saves

Arval, a UK vehicle leasing and fleet management specialist, announced today a new, record low incident ratio of just 14.1% across it's own fleet of 200 vehicles. This compares to a 40% figure for  in 2006 – something that inspired a focus on fleet safety for a decade.

Over the same time period, the number of incidents recorded annually has dropped from 146 to 24 while the total cost of collisions has reduced by three quarters - from £98,970 to £25,900.

Tracey Fuller, engagement manager at Arval, explained: “The 14.1% incident ratio is proof that investing in a sustainable safety programme pays off”. 

Source: Fleet News

NVD Leads With Two International Awards, Case Study

This month, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) announced the 2017 winners of the PRAISE awards, in recognition of outstanding efforts taken by companies to improve road safety at work.

The large company award goes to National Vehicle Distribution (NVD), a family-owned vehicle transportation and storage company in Ireland. 

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said:

“This year’s inspiring award winners demonstrate that road safety of employees is not just a company’s responsibility, it also makes for good business. PRAISE award winners have shown time and again that company-wide road safety programmes reduce insurance and fleet costs, cut employee sick days and improve customer service.

The PRAISE Awards judges said:

“NVD stood out in terms of their holistic approach to driver risk management. They have a huge focus on driver selection, training and ongoing management as well as strong evidence of daily interventions of a deterrent and enforcement nature with drivers to influence behaviour. A proactive company with a focus on safety, they learn from past incidents and find solutions to avoid them in the future. They also have clear performance targets and support positive reinforcement with a bonus system for drivers.”

Niall McNally, Head of IT, Business Analysis & HR at NVD also presented the company's compelling case study at the October series of Driving for Work (#DrivingForWork) seminars, hosted by the HSA, RSA and An Garda Siochana. Niall closed by saying that some benefits accruing to the business from the implementation of their safe driving programme, were simply unplanned!

All of this follows an eventful September which saw NVD pick up a prestigious 2017 Brake Fleet Safety Award in the Company Driver Safety Award category.

Here is a full list of award winners and "highly commended" entries (which includes DriverFocus!)

 NVD Wins 2017 Driver Safety Award (Small Fleet Category)

NVD Wins 2017 Driver Safety Award (Small Fleet Category)

Hallmarks of Fleet Risk Management Best-Practice

Whether your business is just starting to manage Driving for Work or you've been proactively doing so for years, we can always learn from others. While every work environment is different, there are common best-practices across all sectors. 

Here's our view on "what good looks like".

These 16 "Lessons Learned" are based on what we've seen in 10 years helping 100 companies create "an environment that allows and expects safe driving".

If you Like it, please Share it - you never know, your nudge might save someone!

Please Support EDWARD On Thursday

EDWARD is "European Day Without A Road Death" - an initiative organised by TISPOL, the Traffic Police Network of Europe. The aim of the day is that no one should lose their lives on the road on Thursday 21st September 2017
 
Watch this short video to see what it was all about
 
On average 70 people per day, die on EU roads.
To date 111 people have lost their lives on Irish roads this year.
 
Think about the risks that you and your family face (and create) for others, when you and they use our roads as a motorist, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian for leisure or work purposes
 
Please make the pledge now at : https://projectedward.eu/pledge

Lack Of Road Safety Policy Exposes UK Businesses

The study by TomTom Telematics of UK companies whose employees drive for work purposes found more than a fifth (21%) have no road safety policy in place while a further 4% did not actually know whether their organisation had a defined policy.

Yet 60% said staff members had been involved in road traffic collisions while on business duty, with 78% claiming this resulted in lost productivity due to injury or time off work.

The analysis of senior managers at 400 UK businesses also found just 64% have processes in place to profile the risk posed by individual drivers, based on factors such as driving behaviour or previous convictions.

Beverley Wise, director UK & Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: “Businesses should also be aware that a proactive approach to road safety can deliver further business benefits. By employing technology to monitor driver behaviour and providing drivers with live feedback, supported by targeted coaching and training, it is possible to reduce fuel spend, cut insurance premiums and boost productivity.”

Source: Fleet World

84% of Drivers Admit Using Devices While Driving

The research, which was carried out by IPSOS Mori on behalf of Aviva, found that drivers in Ireland compare badly with our neighbours in the UK with almost half (45%) of Irish drivers admitting to making  phone calls  behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK, the equivalent number was 20%. The numbers who report checking their social media while driving in Ireland is also more than double that of the UK (15% v 7%). In this respect, only Italian drivers are worse than Irish drivers among our European counterparts at 17%.

Key findings on driver habits and technology usage:
·         45% of Irish drivers admit making a phone call while driving compared to just 20% in the UK. That figure rises to 63% in the USA and as high as 76% in China.
·         26% of Irish drivers admit sending text messages while driving, compared to 13% in the UK, while Indonesian drivers are the most likely to send a text while driving at 53%.
·         15% of Irish drivers admit checking / posting to social media while driving. The UK had the lowest rate with 7% admitting to this practice, while Indian drivers fared the worst at 41%
·         11% of Irish drivers admit viewing or uploading images to social media while driving. This figure is as low as 4% in the UK and as high as 37% in India.
·         66% of Irish drivers admit choosing music while at the wheel. This figure falls to 45% in Spain while the country with the highest rate for this practice is China at 74%
·         35% of Irish drivers admit entering information into a satnav system while driving. This figure drops to 26% in India and goes up to 52% in Turkey.

Speaking about the findings, Michael Bannon, Underwriting Manager with Aviva Motor Insurance, said: “It is shocking to find that so many drivers are taking such risks, given all that we know about road safety. Just a split second of distraction or lapse in concentration can result in death on the road”.

When it comes to distractions on the road, technology was not the only contributing factor. The research also found that 40% of Irish drivers admit driving while excessively tired compared to 31% in the UK, while 60% of Irish drivers admit to eating or drinking while driving, the highest proportion in Europe. Meanwhile being distracted by passengers, for example, children in the back of the car is a common experience among Irish drivers with 43% reporting it as a difficulty, the highest proportion of any European country in the survey. While the numbers admitting to putting on make-up while driving are small across all countries included in the survey, Ireland emerges as the highest in Europe with 7% confessing to doing their make up behind the wheel. 
 
“When you get behind the wheel you are responsible not only for your own life but for everyone else you encounter on the road.  With holiday season now well-underway, when families will take to the road for longer journeys than usual, this research should serve as a wake-up call. Put the mobile phones out of reach, set-up your satnav before beginning your journey, stop for a coffee if tiredness is getting the better of you and concentrate on the road.  Driving is among the most hazardous activities we undertake in our lives.  For all our sakes, we need to remember that stark reality at the start of every journey,” advises Michael Bannon.

DriverFocus also supports the HSA's response to the findings from this survey, as employers need to consider how they can help staff Driving for Work and avoid making matters worse.

HSA suggested questions include:
1.   How are you managing the risk of distracted driving for those who drive for work?
2.   Have you covered distraction as a key risk in your driving for work risk assessement?
3.   What does your safety management system say about how to prevent distracted driving?
4.   What more can you do to prevent your employees driving distracted?

Source: Aviva Ireland and DrivingForWork.ie 

Up To 40% Of Road Deaths In Europe Work-Related

Employers, national governments and the EU are being urged to take action to tackle work-related road risk, as latest estimates suggest that up to 40% of all road deaths in Europe are work-related.

The analysis of EU road safety data, published today by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), finds that a total of 25,671 lives were lost on the road in the European Union in 2016.

Although the exact number of work-related road (WRR) collisions is unknown, based on detailed analysis of data from across Europe, the authors estimate that up to 40% of all road deaths are work-related. In the UK, DfT figures find that at least one in three (31%) fatal crashes and one in four (26%) serious injury crashes in Britain involve someone driving for work.

In response – and as EU road death figures stagnate – the new ETSC report sets out that employers are essential to tackling road risk but says fleets need help and support from national governments and the EU to take action.

The authors also say that government and public authorities should lead by example and adopt work-related road safety management programmes for their employees and their fleets and include vehicle safety in public procurement requirements.

Another key recomendation for member states is to establish a centralised certification service for suppliers who are in compliance with work-related road risk management legal requirements and have safe work policies.

Ireland, along with France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Germany performed best in data collection
and reporting of WWR deaths compared to the 32 countries covered in the report.

Commenting on the report, Jason Wakeford, spokesman for Brake, the UK road safety charity, said: "Reductions in the numbers killed on UK roads have stagnated in recent years. Road deaths fell by just 1.4% between 2010 and 2016 - way short of the EU target. All other EU countries, with the exception of Lithuania, Malta and Sweden, have made better progress and urgent action is needed. It's a disgrace that there are currently no UK targets for reducing the number of road deaths and we are calling for a UK target to be set as a priority for the Government".

Source/Report: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)

HSA Inspections To Tackle Vehicle Risks At Work

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will today begin a nationwide work related vehicle safety inspection and information campaign. The campaign will last two weeks and will focus on four key sectors: Transport and Logistics; Wholesale and Retail; Waste and Recycling and Manufacturing.

The purpose of the campaign is to make sure that employers are aware of their legal responsibilities for managing vehicle risks, and to help them reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring.

Over the last 6 years, just under half (45%) of all workplace fatalities have involved vehicles. In the same period nearly one in five (18%) of all non-fatal accidents were vehicle related.

An analysis of HSA accident statistics indicates that the majority of these fatalities occurred during the manoeuvring, reversing or coupling and uncoupling of vehicles. Non-fatal injuries generally occurred during the manual handling of loads or as the result of falls from vehicles.

Deirdre Sinnott, Senior Inspector with the HSA says that the risks can be reduced by focusing on four key areas.

“Firstly, employers should have a vehicle risk management policy that covers all vehicle related activities in the workplace.  This includes not only vehicles operated by employees but also those visiting that need to be managed and controlled. It is also important that procedures are in place to eliminate and control known risks associated with:  driving for work, loading and unloading, deliveries and collections, parking, reversing and manoeuvring. Then safety information, instruction and training should be provided for all employees and finally, a method to record and learn from all incidents or near misses and take corrective action where necessary.”

There are free short on-line courses, aimed at helping employers to manage work related vehicle safety, on the HSA e-learning portal

Also, freely available guidance and resources can be found on the HSA website

ICFM to Hold Road Risk Management Masterclass

ICFM to hold Operational Road Risk Management Masterclass with Focus on cost savings benefits to businesses.

Occupational road risk management is good business practice, but for too many employers it is a ‘tick box compliance exercise’ without a real focus on reducing costs, according to ICFM.

That’s why the organisation dedicated to advancing the profession of car and light commercial fleet management through a range of externally endorsed qualifications, is holding its second Masterclasses – free for both members and non-members – on operational road risk.

Department for Transport data reveals that road crashes in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, cost the British economy an estimated £35.55 billion taking into account human costs, lost productivity, medical, ambulance and police costs, insurance and administration and property damage*.

What’s more, with around a third of road traffic collisions involving a person at work, the government-backed Driving for Better Business campaign, has calculated that based on a 10% return on sales, businesses would have to sell £60,000 worth of goods to cover the cost of a £3,000 crash.

ICFM director Peter Eldridge said: “Many fleets introduce measures such as driver licence checking as part of their work-related road safety programmes, but the real focus should be on reducing the cost of crashes.

“Complying with the law is important, but if directors and fleet decision-makers better understood the real-world cost to their businesses of crashes they would take significant action. Improving road safety is about reducing crashes and the associated cost savings will be reflected in company profits. It is easier for businesses to be pro-active in crash prevention than to sell many thousands of pounds worth of additional products.”


Source: ICFM